The Madeleine Brand Show for March 15, 2012

The math behind the GOP race

Republican presidential candidates Ron P

DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidates Ron Paul (L), Rick Santorum (2nd L), Mitt Romney (2nd R) and Newt Gingrich (R) during their debate in Mesa, Arizona.

As the race for the Republican presidential nominee continues, some say it's become a two-man contest between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney.

But Newt Gingrich says he's going all the way to the convention in Tampa, Florida. He blames the media for trying to force him out of the campaign. And then there's still Ron Paul.

But Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics says a lot of the day-to-day news is just noise. He believes that five demographics — Latinos, Blacks, college students, evangelicals, and Mormons — are the key to predicting which candidate will pull in the most votes in an area, and he has a mathematical model to prove it.

For example, Romney does well if a district has a high Latino population, That doesn't mean Latinos necessarily vote for Romney, but maybe Republicans who like his policy on immigration may vote for Romney in these districts.

And due to the close delegate count, Trende thinks it's entirely possible that this race could be decided in California — by Republican voters in overwhelmingly Democratic districts, like those of Maxine Waters here in L.A., or Nancy Pelosi's in San Francisco.

Guest:

Sean Trende is the senior election analyst for Real Clear Politics, and the author of a new book, "The Lost Majority."


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